Examining the Relationship between Civil Servant
Perceptions of Organizational Culture and Job Attitudes:
in the Context of the New Public Management Reform
in South Korea
Ji Sung Kim1 & Seung-Hyun Han2
Published online: 28 December 2016
# Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016
Abstract This study investigates the relationship between public officialsâ€™ perceptions
of organizational culture and their job attitudes, particularly emphasizing a mediating
role of job satisfaction under the new public management reform in South Korea.
Data collected from Korean civil servants indicate that perceptions of the competing
values rooted in different organizational culture typesâ€”clan, market, hierarchy, and
adhocracyâ€”differentially affect their job attitudes. In addition, the findings show the
mediating influence of job satisfaction between public officialsâ€™ perceptions of organizational culture and organizational commitment.
Keywords Perceived organizational culture .Job satisfaction . Organizational
commitment . Competing values framework
In contrast to the popular belief that BHappy workers are productive^ the organizational
behavior literature argues that direct and distinct relationships between job attitudes and
job performance are generally poor (Latham 2007; Bowling 2007) and instead vary
considerably across contexts and with job complexity (Judge et al. 2001; Triandis 1994).
Studies investigating this relationship within the context of relational dynamics such as
leader-member exchange have indicated that a job environment is more important to
Public Organiz Rev (2017) 17:157â€“175
The original version of this article was revised: The caption of Fig. 2 is not correct. Figure 2 caption should
read as ‘Fig. 2 Competing values framework (K. S. Cameron and Quinn (2011))’
* Seung-Hyun Han
1 Korea University, Seoul, South Korea
2 University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
understand the effects of employeesâ€™ attitudes on job performance (Harris et al. 2009;
Although organizational culture has not been a major focus of research examining
job attitudes, and there have been few references to organizational culture among the
major reviews and meta-analyses on the antecedents, correlates, and consequences of
job attitudes (Bowling 2007; Judge et al. 2001; Meyer et al. 2010), a growing body of
research includes organizational culture, one aspect of the job environment, particularly
as an antecedent of job attitudes (Farh et al. 2007; Jackson 2002; Kim 2014; Ng et al.
2009; Saari and Judge 2004). Furthermore, in spite of great diversity among definitions
and measures of organizational culture, some researchers have argued that organizational culture provides a lens for a better understanding of job attitudes, in that
organizational culture directly and indirectly influences job attitudes, as well as their
antecedents (Martin 1992; Trice and Beyer 1992). Nonetheless, there are only few
established frameworks that explain how organizational culture affects employeesâ€™ job
attitudes and, in turn, their behaviors in public management research (Ajzen 2006;
Jackson 2002). Although several studies (e.g., Goulet and Frank 2002; Moon 2000;
Wright and Davis 2003) have found different results in levels of job attitudes across
different sectors, studies have not generally examined differences associated with
organizational culture, and there have been a dearth of studies simultaneously investigating direct and indirect relationships among organizational culture, job satisfaction
(JS), and organizational commitment (OC) in the public sector. Investigating the
relationships between cultural elements and job attitudes could provide new understandings, particularly because values, which are seen as the core of organizational
culture (Peters and Waterman 1982), have been shown to affect job attitudes (Eby and
Dobbins 1997; Locke 1976). This study sheds light on the notion that culture, which
includes shared values, is an important factor influencing job outcomes but there is
variation in how employees perceive culture within an organization and the variation
can lead to different outcomes with respect to job attitudes. This is important because
perception, rather than an Bobjective reality,^ will influence attitudes and behaviors.
The goal of this research is to increase our understanding of how employee
perception of cultural elements, i.e., values, influences their job attitudes in the context
of the New Public Management (NPM, hereafter) Reform in South Korea. First, this
study investigates the relationship between employee perception of organizational
culture and job attitudes in the public sector, focusing specifically on whether values
associated with different types of organizational culture have different impacts on
employee attitudes. Second, this study examines whether JS mediates the relationship
between employee perception of organizational culture and OC.
The following section introduces the research context and the theoretical background of this study. Then empirical evidence used to develop the conceptual model
is presented (see Fig. 1). Next, the methods used for this study are described and the
results of data analyses are reported. Lastly, findings and implications for theory and
practice are discussed.
To explore the relationship between public employeesâ€™ perception of culture and job
attitudes, this research studies civil servants from a Korean government ministry during
158 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
a time that involved a number of mergers and reorganizations. Since the governmental
restructuring in 2008 by Lee Myoung-bak administration, most of the government
ministries were reorganized in order to achieve a small but practical government that is
effective and serves people first. During this process, the 18-Ministry and 4-Office
system of the previous administration was reorganized into a 15-Ministry and 2-Office
system through the integration or relocation of departments and offices. This reorganization, which was in line with themes of NPM, pointedly emphasized values and
attributes of market and adhocracy cultures. Its stated goalsâ€”to attain efficiency and
effectiveness, decrease redundant organizations, and ultimately to decrease the number of
employees, while emphasizing that government needs to serve its citizens (Min 2008)â€”
are clearly line with NPM principles. It should be noted that NPM, a globally prevailing
managerial paradigm to enhance efficiency in the public sector, has proliferated in Korea
since the 1990s, and has shifted the focus of public management from an emphasis on the
implementation of formal rules based on hierarchical structures to an emphasis on clientoriented performance improvement in market-oriented and entrepreneurial ways
(Osborne and Gaebler 1992; Parker and Bradley 2000). This period of organizational
change provides an interesting context for surfacing the effect of organizational culture
on employee attitudes in the public sector.
Organizational Culture and Values
Over the past three decades, there have been varying conceptions of culture (Martin
1992; Schein 1991). Nevertheless, there is a clear message from scholars in a variety of
fields that culture plays a critical role with respect to organizational performance. Much
of the literature regarding organizational culture emphasizes the notion of shared
assumptions (Schein 2010), attitudes and perceptions that bind organizational members together and influence how they think about themselves, their coworkers, and
their work (Alvesson 2002; Palthe and Kossek 2003), as well as values and
behaviors and environmental and organizational realities that influence an organization (Kopelman et al. 1990). Scheinâ€™s (1981, 1990, 2010), conceptual framework of
culture, which has been especially influential in the study of organizational culture,
defines culture as Bthings that group members share or hold in common^ (2010, p. 16),
and emphasizes that culture involves assumptions, values, beliefs, adaptations,
perceptions, and learning.
Fig. 1 Conceptual model
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 159
Not all researchers define culture as the â€˜thingâ€™ that holds the organization together.
Martin (1992), for example, argues that organizational cultures are not necessarily
unifying. She notes that culture is not static over time and that several different cultures
can exist in the same organization. Thus, any definition of culture needs to take into
account the possibility of competing subcultures that are a fact of life in the organization. In this regards, the Competing Values Framework (CVF) (Cameron and Quinn
2011) is noteworthy because it provides an organizing mechanism that sees organizations as having a dominant culture, but also recognizes that culture may change over
time. Moreover, focusing on cultural values, CVF recognizes that subunits within an
organization can have their own unique culture. Shared cultural values can be regarded
as the crucial source of variation among organizational groups.
Competing Values Framework (CVF)
The Competing Values Framework (CVF) was developed using multidimensional scaling
by Quinn and Rohrbaugh (1981) in an attempt to make sense of the organizational
effectiveness literature, which provided contradictory definitions of organizational effectiveness and explanations of what makes an organization effective. The framework
explains how people evaluate organizations and how organizations are characterized by
a particular set of shared beliefs and values (Arsenault and Faerman 2014; Hartnell et al.
2010; Lund 2003). CVF also clarifies how values, as a key component of organizational
culture, are communicated in organizations (Gregory et al. 2009; Helfrich et al. 2007;
Mohr et al. 2012).
According to CVF, organizational culture can be measured along two dimensions or
axes. The first focuses on the level of flexibility and individuality versus stability and
organizational structuring; the second focuses on the degree to which attention is paid
to internal organizational dynamics versus the external environment and the organizationâ€™s competitive position (Cameron and Quinn 2011). When juxtaposed, the two axes
create four domains that represent four distinct cultures: Hierarchy, Clan, Adhocracy,
and Market (see Fig. 2).
Internal Focus External Focus
Perceived organizational Support
Dynamic & entrepreneurial
Adapt to changes
Acquisition of resources
Innovation & openness
Coordination & efficiency
Adherence to bureaucratic rules &
Stability & predictability
Rational goals & clarity of tasks
Fig. 2 Competing values framework (K. S. Cameron and Quinn (2011))
160 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
The four cultures depicted in CVF represent a memberâ€™s values about an organization; what they define as good, right, and appropriate; and which core values are used
for forming judgments and taking action (Goodman et al. 2001). The clan culture is
characterized by cohesion, morale and an emphasis on human resource development.
The adhocracy culture reflects a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and creative work environment that aims to grow and acquire resources through flexibility and readiness. The
market culture focuses on getting the job done, and achieving productivity and
efficiency. Finally, the hierarchy culture emphasizes a clear organizational structure,
effective information management, and well-defined responsibilities and bureaucratic
structures. Examining organizational culture based on the cultural attributes associated
with the two value dimensionsâ€”internal/external focus and flexibility/stabilityâ€”sheds
light on how culture might influence employeesâ€™ attitudes (Cameron and Quinn 2011).
Although there is no one superior or ideal culture, organizations tend to develop a
dominant orientation over time as they respond to challenges and changes in the
environment (Schein 1991). As is true of individuals, organizations tend to respond
to challenges and changes by amplifying their core cultural values so that various
attributes of organizational culture become more solidified and prominent (Cameron
and Quinn 2011). Cameron et al. (2007) note that while some organizations have a
dominant type of culture, others have multiple cultures working simultaneously in
different locations and departments.
Organizational Commitment (OC)
OC is a theoretical construct that examines employee-organization psychological linkages.
According to Mowday et al. (1982), OC includes employeesâ€™ acceptance of organizational
values and goals, their willingness to make strong efforts to support their organization in
order to attain organizational goals, and their intention to maintain organizational membership. In contrast, Allen and Meyerâ€™s (1990) definition of OC, which is one of the most
commonly referred to in recent studies, examines three components of commitment1
affective commitment, continuance commitment, and normative commitmentâ€”only one
of which focuses on employeesâ€™ acceptance of organizational goals. Common to these
three components of OC, however, is the idea of a Bpsychological state that links an
individual to an organization^ (Allen and Meyer 1990, p. 14).
In extant OC studies, change initiatives, managerial paradigms, sectoral differences,
and job insecurity have been shown to be antecedent variables of OC (e.g., Siegel et al.
2005; Perryer and Jordan 2005). In addition, OC has been found to predict organizational effectiveness and job performance (Riketta 2008; Sturges et al. 2005), as well as
such job-related behaviors as turnover (e.g., Stinglhamber and Vandenberghe 2003;
Sturges et al. 2005), intention to quit (e.g., Cole and Bruch 2006; Powell and Meyer
2004), and extra-role behaviors (e.g., Carmeli 2005; Mowday et al. 1982). Based on
empirical evidence of affective commitment as the strongest and the most consistent
1 BAffective commitment refers to the employeeâ€™s emotional attachment to, identification with, and involvement in the organizationâ€¦ Continuance commitment refers to an awareness of the costs associated with
leaving the organizationâ€¦ Finally, normative commitment reflects a feeling of obligation to continue
employment.^ (Meyer and Allen 1997, p. 11).
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 161
construct related to organizational behaviors, this study focused on affective commitment as outcome in the research model.
Job Satisfaction (JS)
Job satisfaction (JS) is arguably one of the most explored work orientation variables in
organizational studies over the last five decades (Anderson et al. 2001). In general, JS
has been defined as the Bemotional state of liking oneâ€™s job,^ which results from
employeesâ€™ job experiences (Locke 1976, p. 1300). Additionally, Ivancevich et al.
(2007) point out that JS reflects employeesâ€™ perception of whether they fit into their
A substantial amount of empirical research has presented JS as an antecedent to
affective commitment (e.g., Mowday et al. 1982; Vandenberg and Scarpello 1990).
In addition, JS has been found to be a strong predictor of such organizational
outcome variables as absenteeism, turnover, work performance, and prosocial
behaviors (e.g., Tett and Meyer 1993; Trevor 2001). JS has also been studied as a
dependent variable that is influenced by employeesâ€™ personal characteristics and job
characteristics such as pay, promotion, job design, and having influence over goal
setting (Agho et al. 1993; Oâ€™Leary-Kelly and Griffin 1995).
Relationships among Perception of Organizational Culture and OC, and JS
Only a few studies have employed CVF to investigate the relationship between
employee perception of organizational cultures and employeesâ€™ job attitudes (e.g.,
Lund 2003). However, as Howard (1998) notes, CVF provides us with a Bdescriptive
content^ (p. 232) of organizational culture; it specifies configurations of organizational
culture; and it provides tools for measuring and analyzing organizational culture.
Moreover, values, which are central to CVF, have been regarded as a key element of
organizational culture (Boxx et al. 1991; Braunscheidel et al. 2010; Robert and Wasti
2002), and are considered to be more tangible than assumptions and more stable than
artifacts (Howard 1998). Thus, this study contributes to the literature by using an
organizational culture framework that explicitly reflects values.
Although little research has examined the influence of perceived organizational
culture on job attitudes using CVF, some studies contribute to our understanding of
this relationship. For example, using Cameron and Freemanâ€™s (1991) version of CVF to
measure organizational culture, Lund (2003) found that overall JS is higher in perceived clan and adhocracy cultures, which focus on flexibility and spontaneity, than in
perceived market and hierarchy cultures, which focus on control and stability.
Similarly, researchers employing Wallachâ€™s (1983) Organizational Culture Index to
measure organizational cultures2 have found that strong perceived bureaucratic cultures
negatively affect employeesâ€™ JS and OC, whereas cultures valuing innovation and
people in the organization positively influence employeesâ€™ job attitudes (Lok and
2 Wallachâ€™s (1983) supportive culture, innovative culture, and bureaucratic culture, with orientations of culture
related to people, innovation, and [stable] bureaucratic structure, respectively, are close to clan culture,
adhocracy culture, and hierarchy culture from CVF, in terms of what each culture values in an organization.
162 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
Crawford 2001; Odom et al. 1990; Silverthorne 2004). Since JS and OC have been
shown to have a positive relationship, Hypotheses 1a through 1d are suggested.
Hypothesis 1a: Perceived adhocracy culture will be positively associated with
both their JS and OC.
Hypothesis 1b: Perceived clan culture will be positively associated with both their
JS and OC.
Hypothesis 1c: Perceived hierarchical culture will be negatively associated with
both their JS and OC.
Hypothesis 1d: Perceived market culture will be negatively associated with both
their JS and OC.
This study also examines a mediating effect of JS on the relationship between
perceived organizational culture and OC. While arguments have been made regarding
their conceptual redundancy, JS and OC have been shown to be distinct variables in
that OC focuses on employeesâ€™ attitudes toward the organization as a whole, whereas
JS focuses on specific job characteristics (Vandenberg and Lance 1992). Investigating
these two job attitudes in the context of their relationship to perceived organizational
culture could thus be informative and further clarify their conceptual distinction.
Although some studies have found that JS and OS have a reciprocal relationship
(e.g., Huang and Hsiao 2007), most research has assumed that JS influences OC
(Buchanan 1974; Mowday et al. 1982; Reichers 1985) or that it plays a role as an
intervening variable within relationships between other variables (e.g., structural determinants) and OC (e.g., Gaertner 1999; Lok and Crawford 2001; Markovits et al. 2010;
Mueller and Lawler 1999; Wallace 1995). For example, using Meyer and Allenâ€™s
(1991) three-component model of OC, Clugston (2000) found that OC played a
partially mediating role between JS and employeesâ€™ intent to leave. Similarly,
Williams and Hazer (1986) found that JS mediates the relationship between all
independent variables they studied (i.e., age, pre-employment expectations, perceived
job characteristics, and the consideration dimension of leadership style) and OC.
Arguably, JS, which is associated with job-specific characteristics, would more likely
to be influenced by changes in working conditions than would OC, which would likely
be more influenced by other components outside of the job (Mueller and Lawler 1999;
Vandenberg and Lance 1992). Thus, we this study proposes that JS will mediate the
relationship between perceived organizational culture and OC.
Hypothesis 2: The relationship between perceived organizational culture and OC
will be mediated through JS.
According to the research purpose, this study included the ministries that were created
by integrating two or more central government agencies.3 That is, the ministries that
were not merged were excluded from the data set. The survey was conducted by the
3 To ensure confidentiality as requested, we will not reveal actual name of the ministry here.
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 163
Ministry of Public Administration and Security (MOPAS) including a wide range of
information such as sex, age, positions, tenure, and so forth. The data collection method
ensured that each employee could only respond once. In total, 421 of 749 public
employees completed the survey, yielding a 56.07 % response rate.
As shown in Table 1, 73.5 % of the respondents were male and 25.6 % were female;
6.1 % were in the 20â€“29 age group, 37.5 % were in the 30â€“39 age group, 40.8 % were
in the 40â€“49 age group, and 14.6 % were in the 50 or older age group. Regarding job
position, 15.44 % of the respondents were at a managerial level (grade 4 or higher). In
terms of years in current position, 22.1 % had been in their job less than 5 years, 13.7 %
had been in their job between 6 and 10 years, 19.1 % had been in their job between 11
and 15 years, 18.5 % had been in their job between 16 and 20 years, and 25.5 % had
been in their job over 20 years.
Since the data were not collected using random sampling, this study statistically
tested whether sample proportions matched proportions of subgroups in the population,
examining both the gender ratio and distributions of employeesâ€™ job grades in annual
statistical reports of MOPAS. Our analyses showed no statistically significant differences in terms of gender ratio or ratio of managers to non-managers (two-sample
proportion ratio test: z = âˆ’0.3547, p > .10 for gender ratio; z = âˆ’0.6857, p > .10 for
manager ratio) (Table 2).
The survey used three instruments to measure the constructs in our conceptual
framework. All instruments have previously shown acceptable levels of reliability
and validity. Perceived organizational culture was measured using the 16 items of
the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)4 (Cameron and Quinn
Table 1 Sample demographic
data Variables Values Frequency Percentage
Gender Male 267 63.4
Female 152 36.1
Age 20s 28 6.7
30s 204 48.5
40s 138 32.8
50s 50 11.8
Job rank 3rd grade or higher 6 1.4
4th grade 44 10.5
5th grade 143 34.0
6th grade or lower 218 51.8
Seniority 5 years of less 109 25.9
6 ~ 10 years 84 20.0
11 ~ 15 years 84 20.0
16 ~ 20 years 63 15.0
20 years or more 76 18.0
4 Since we focused on intra-organizational variability with regard to employee perception of culture, we used
individual-level data and used individuals as the level of analysis.
164 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
2011). Based on CVF, four attributes of cultureâ€”dominant characteristics, organizational leadership, organizational glue, management of employeesâ€”were measured. To measure affective commitment, Allen and Meyerâ€™s (1990) Affective
Commitment Scale (ACS) items were used. The items focus on employeesâ€™
feelings such as emotional attachment and dedication to the organization. A
sample question is BI feel a strong sense of belonging to my organizations.^
Job satisfaction was measured using the Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) (Hackman
and Oldham 1975). This instrument measures both employeesâ€™ overall JS such as
general satisfaction, internal work motivation, and growth satisfaction, and employeesâ€™
satisfaction with specific job facetsâ€”job security, compensation, co-workers, and
supervisor. A sample question is BMy job allows me be gone on my own to perform
work my own.^
Following a two-step analytical procedure, this study first examined the measurement
model, and then used the structural model to test the proposed hypotheses. Covariation
data was used as input to LISREL (Version 8.80). This section describes the results of
data analyses, including descriptive statistics, reliability and validity statistics from the
measurement structure, and results of the tests of the hypotheses.
Figure 3 shows the perceived cultural profile of the sample organization. Overall,
attributes associated with each cultural type emerged and no one culture dominates over
the others. Nevertheless, employees perceive attributes of market culture to be the
strongest across the four types of culture, followed by attributes of hierarchy, clan, and
adhocracy cultures, although the differences are generally small (Market: 4.52, hierarchy:
4.48, clan: 4.50, adhocracy: 4.20).
The Measurement Model Prior to testing the study hypotheses, tests of reliability and
validity were conducted to ensure that the measures used in the study had appropriate
psychometric properties (Kaplan 2008). Inter-construct correlation coefficient estimates,
Cronbach alpha (Î±) coefficients (Cronbach 1951; Cronbach and Shavelson 2004), and
Table 2 Descriptive analysis and inter-construct correlation coefficients
M SD AVE 1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Adhocracy 4.20 1.16 0.55 (0.87)
2. Market 4.52 1.08 0.56 0.855 (0.85)
3. Hierarchy 4.50 1.13 0.57 0.847 0.793 (0.87)
4. Clan 4.48 1.07 0.54 0.739 0.768 0.816 (0.80)
5. Job Satisfaction 2.74 0.69 0.59 0.440 0.387 0.424 0.388 (0.85)
6. Organizational Commitment 3.22 0.76 0.69 0.390 0.402 0.457 0.437 0.645 (0.86)
n = 421. All correlation coefficients are significant at p < .01. Coefficient alpha reliability estimates are
reported on the main diagonal
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 165
factor loadings from a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were all examined. Table 2 shows
inter-construct correlations and Cronbach Î± coefficients along with descriptive statistics.
To examine convergent validity for each factor, average variance shared between
each construct and its measure was calculated (Gall 2003). According to Fornell and
Larcker (1981), the Average Variance Extracted (AVE) should be 0.50 or above. As
seen in Table 2, all AVE statistics were greater than 0.50. In addition, the Cronbach Î±
coefficients for all measurement constructs are acceptable (above .80), indicating that
all measures have appropriate levels of reliability.
Since the four attributes of culture show high correlations with one another, a
multicollinearity test was conducted using the variance inflation factor (VIF) to verify
the existence of four distinct organizational cultures (see Table 3).5 The VIFs for the
four culture dimensions fell in the range of 3.16 to 4.67, which are smaller than 10, the
standard criterion suggested by Pedhazur (1997). Thus, this study concludes that
multicollinearity problem does not exist.
Finally, a second-order confirmatory factor analysis of the OCAI measures was
conducted (see Table 4) using the following indices to test the model: (1) goodness-of5 Although the four cultures are conceptually distinct, one should expect high statistical correlations among the
cultural measures because the four cultures emerge from two dimensions, and so overlap in focus. For
example, clan and adhocracy share an emphasis on flexibility; clan and hierarchy are both internallyfocused; and so on. Tests of multicollinearity allow us to examine the degree to which this affects the
Table 3 Collinearity test of OCAI dimensions
Mean S.D. Tolerance VIF
Adhocracy 4.20 1.16 .215 4.661
Market 4.52 1.07 .317 3.156
Clan 4.50 1.13 .214 4.672
Hierarchy 4.48 1.07 .247 4.045
Fig. 3 Cultural profile of the sample organization
166 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
fit index (GFI); (2) adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI); (3) comparative fit index (CFI);
(4) normed fit index (NFI); and (5) root mean square residual (RMR). The CFA analysis
results substantiate the adequacy of the item-to-factor associations and the number of
dimensions underlying the proposed model (Hair et al. 2009), providing further evidence
of construct validity in the OCAI model.
The Structural Model To test the hypotheses, the data was analyzed based on the
structural model (see Fig. 4) using the maximum likelihood method to estimate the model.
Figure 4 shows estimated path coefficients and the associated t-values of the paths.
The fit statistics indicate that the research model provides a good fit to the data
(CFI = .97; NFI = .97; RMR = .03). The indices are within the range that suggests
a good model fit. This study therefore proceeded to test the specified paths for the
Collective associations among the exogenous and endogenous variables, path coefficient estimates for all relationships among the constructs, and standardized path
Table 4 CFA analysis results of OCAI measures
Models GFI AGFI CFI NFI RMR
Adhocracy 0.99 0.98 0.99 0.99 0.01
Market 0.97 0.93 0.97 0.96 0.02
Clan 0.99 0.98 0.99 0.99 0.01
Hierarchy 0.98 0.97 0.98 0.98 0.02
(Note: ** p<0.01)
0.60** (17.82) 0.06 (0.29)
Fig. 4 SEM results with standardized path coefficients
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 167
coefficient estimates were examined to determine the overall effect sizes of each
relationship (Hair et al. 2009; Kline 2010). As the standard determinant for the
statistical significance of standardized path coefficients, a cut-off t-value (t-value â‰¥
|1.96|) was applied (Kline 2010).
Figure 4 shows that not all types of perceived organizational culture have a
significant effect on employeesâ€™ attitudes. In particular, a non-significant direct paths
were found for the adhocracy culture (Î³1 = âˆ’.23; |t| = 1.08 and Î³2 = 0.26; |t| = 1.37).
Employeesâ€™ perceptions of clan and hierarchy culture in their organizations have a
statically significant direct effect on both JS (Î³5 = 1.16; |t| = 6.07 and Î³7 = âˆ’.50;
|t| = 3.33, respectively) and OC (Î³6 = âˆ’0.45; |t| = 2.77 and Î³8 = 0.86; |t| = 6.84,
respectively). Market culture perceived by individuals do not have a significantly
negative effect on JS (Î³3 = 0.06; |t| = 0.29), but do have a significantly negative effect
on employeesâ€™ OC (Î³4 = 0.44; |t| = 2.81).
Although perceived clan culture appears to have a negative effect on OC, there
is a need to consider the total effects of the cultural dimensions on OC, which are
composed of both direct effects and indirect effects through JS. Table 5 shows that
employeesâ€™ perceptions of the attributes of the clan culture ultimately have a
positive effect on OC because the indirect effects through JS are larger than the negative
Finally, according to the path coefficients estimates (Î²1 = .60; |t| = 17.82), overall JS
plays mediating role in the relationship between organizational culture and employeesâ€™
OC. Table 6 shows the summarized results for the hypothesis tests.
The purpose of this study was to explore the direct and inverse relationship between
perceived organizational culture and employeesâ€™ attitude. Overall, our findings showed
that different attributes of organizational culture differently affect JS and OC. Perceived
values of clan culture positively affect employeesâ€™ JS, but negatively affect employeesâ€™
commitment to their organization in terms of the direct effect, whereas perceived
attributes of hierarchy culture negatively influence employeesâ€™ JS but positively affect
their OC. Moreover, perceived values of market culture in the organization did not
affect JS but negatively affected OC.
It is interesting that the directions of the path coefficients from perceived organizational
culture to JS were in line with the hypotheses, while the path coefficients from perceived
organizational culture to OC, except in the case of market culture, were not. That is, our
findings indicate that employeesâ€™ perception of clan culture decreases the level of OC
Table 5 Total causal effects between organizational culture and OC
Paths to OC Indirect effects (through JS) Direct effects Total effects
Market N/A -.44 -.44
Clan (1.16)*(.60) = .696 -.45 .25
Hierarchy (âˆ’.50)*(.60) = âˆ’.30 .86 .56
168 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
[through a direct path] whereas their perception of hierarchical culture enhances their
commitment. In addition, values associated with market cultureâ€”competition and a
result-orientationâ€”appear to negatively affect employeesâ€™ commitment. Thus, despite
the fact that Korean government has adopted NPM practices that emphasize marketoriented values and customer-oriented performance, public employees might thus still
prefer organizational stability and integration values over competitiveness and change.
Interestingly, the directions of path coefficients to JS and OC are opposite although
JS mediates the relationship between perceived organizational culture and OC. The
negative relationship in the direct path between attributes of clan culture and OC might
be related to the specific focus of commitment. Clan culture focuses on teamwork and
concern for people, which might induce employees to commit to coworkers or supervisors rather than to their organization.
Theoretical Implications Given that public and private sector organizations are distinct with regard to organizational culture, structures, work environments, job characteristics, and job attitudes (Moon 2000; Rainey 2009), there is a need to investigate
these relationships further in the public sector. This study suggests several important
implications for theory. Overall, the findings present additional empirical support for
the notion that perceived values associated with organizational culture influence employeesâ€™ attitudes (Howard 1998). Our finding that attributes of the different cultures
differently affect employeesâ€™ job attitudes raises questions regarding value congruence
between existing organizational values and values emphasized through organizational
change initiatives. In particular, the negative effects of perceived market culture on OC
and the nonsignificant effects of perceived adhocracy culture on job attitudes imply that
NPM might not be effective in Korean public organizations or that these values are not
viewed positively by public employees.
Most importantly, study provides additional empirical support for the notion that
perceived organizational culture should be considered as an important influence on job
attitudes, and sheds light on the relationship between perceived organizational culture
and job attitudes in public sector organizations. As noted earlier, organizational culture
Table 6 Summary of hypothesis tests
Hypotheses Results Support
H1a: Adhocracy â†’ JS Not significant No
Adhocracy â†’ OC Not significant
H1b: Clan â†’ JS Positive Yes
Clan â†’ OC Positive (Directly negative but positive
in total effects)
H1c: Hierarchy â†’ JS Negative Partially
Hierarchy â†’ OC Positive
H1d: Market â†’ JS Not significant Partially
Market â†’ OC Negative
H2: JS mediates the relationship between
perceived organizational culture and OC
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 169
has not received much attention as a determinant of job attitudes relative to structural
antecedents of job attitudes. In that public sector organizations have been regarded as
different from private sector organizations in terms of job characteristics, employeesâ€™
motivation, work environment and so forth, studies examining the influence of perceived
organizational culture on work-related variables in public sector organizations are much
needed. Overall, this study contributes to the organizational behavior literature by
examining the relationship between perceived organizational culture and job attitudes
of public sector employees, an area that has received little attention in previous literature.
Lastly, this study empirically demonstrated that JS precedes OC and plays a
mediating role between perceived organizational culture and OC. As mentioned above,
this is consistent with the majority of studies examining the relationship between JS and
OC, although there is still not full consensus regarding the relationship between the two
job attitudes. In this regard, this study contributes to the literature by providing
additional empirical evidence for the relationship between JS and OC.
Practical Implications Our findings also offer important implications for public
management practitioners. First, the finding that perceived market culture negatively
affect OC implies that the current emphasis on NPM in public sector organizations
might be less effective in the long run than is currently assumed. If NPM conflicts with
shared values of employees and perceived cultures in public organizations, as indicated
in several previous studies (Harrow and Willcocks 1990; Parker and Bradley 2000), the
implementation of NPM might not lead to expected increases in productivity and
efficiency in the public sector.
The finding that perceived values associated with clan culture positively affect both
JS and OC imply that public management practices valuing participation, teamwork,
and sense of family enhance employeesâ€™ job attitudes in a more effective and stable
way, especially in comparison with attributes of cultures having an opposite directional
influence on these job attitudes. Interestingly, although perceived values associated
with hierarchy culture negatively influence JS, they have a large positive effect on OC.
Hence, managerial practices associated with values of hierarchy culture, such as order,
formal rules and regulation, still might be effective or necessary in public sector
organizations. For example, one would expect that public employeesâ€™ tasks should be
in accordance with the law and regulatory rules. Thus, managerial practices overemphasize competition and efficient performance might conflict with cultural values
emphasizing accountability and formal procedures.
This study has several certain limitations. First, findings are based on the perceptions of
employees who voluntarily responded to the questionnaire, and may not be representative of all the employees in the Ministry. In addition, our sample is drawn from one
central public agency in Korea, and so the findings may not be generalizable to private
sector organizations, other Korean central government agencies, government organizations at the local level, or organizations in other national settings.
Second, the data reflect these employeesâ€™ perceptions of attributes of organizational
culture, rather than objective measures of these variables. Third, the model did not
consider subcultures, but rather looked at the Ministry as a whole. Although cultures
170 Kim J.S., Han S.-H.
often differ across departments, divisions, or teams, analyses were not conducted for
subunits of the organization. Finally, it should be noted that the data were collected
from the sample during a specific time span, and so the analyses do not reflect
longitudinal changes. All of these limitations suggest that results must be interpreted
Areas for Further Research
The theoretical implications and limitations of this study suggest several ideas for
further research. First, the differential directions of effects of perceived organizational
culture on the two job attitudes raise important questions. This finding is counterintuitive and in contradiction to the study hypotheses, which were derived from current
theory and empirical research, which suggests that job attitudes will be affected in the
same direction (e.g., Gaertner 1999; Lok and Crawford 2001). Further research is
necessary to examine specific conditions that might lead to such results.
Second, more research comparing private, public or nongovernment (nonprofit)
sector organizations will be needed. Building on findings presented in this study, future
research on whether perceived hierarchical culture influences job attitudes differently
across settings would be particularly valuable.
Third, this study examined organizational culture using individual perceptions of
organizational-level culture. Future studies might examine the relationships between
organizational culture and job attitudes at the subunit level.
Finally, this study examined OC. Employees can, however, be committed differentially to the organization as a whole, their supervisors, coworkers, career, and so on
(Meyer et al. 1993; Reichers 1985). Our finding of a negative direct effect of employeesâ€™ perception of clan culture on their OC might be associated with the specific
focus of employee commitment. Arguably, clan culture, which values warmness and
caring between people, might lead employees to commit more to their coworkers or
team than to the organization as a whole. Future studies considering foci of commitment might provide more tailored explanations.
This study investigated the relationship between perceived organizational culture and
employeesâ€™ job attitudes in a Korean central agency in the context of the NPM Reform.
The findings indicate that employeesâ€™ perception of attributes of organizational culture
differentially affect employeesâ€™ job attitudes. Moreover, the findings provide additional
empirical support for the proposition that JS precedes employeesâ€™ OC and plays a
mediating role for JS within a relationship between perceived cultural values and OC.
Overall, this study contributes to public management theory in that the findings support
the impact of perceived organizational culture on employeesâ€™ job attitudes in the public
organization context, an area where there has been a relative lack of empirical research.
In addition, our findings suggest a need for managers and those developing organizational policies for public organizations to look more closely at whether managerial
practices aligned with values associated with NPM fit well into public organizations
where traditional values are still appreciated.
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 171
Acknowledgments The authors are grateful to Professor Sue R. Faerman for her invaluable advice and
critical comments on an earlier draft and to Dr. Geunpil Ryu for his help on data collection for this study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Funding This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National
Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015S1A3A2046562).
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University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research interests include organizational culture,
employeesâ€™ job attitudes, employeesâ€™ work-life balance, gender governance, and qualitative methods in public
Seung-hyun (Caleb) Han is an assistant professor of Human Resources and Organization Development at the
University of Georgia. Dr. Han received his doctoral degree in Human Resource Development from the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests are knowledge sharing process, knowledge
management systems and learning organization.
Civil Servantsâ€™ Perceived Organizational Culture & Job Attitudes 175
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You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more